Monday, January 28, 2013

An Australian Weekend!

It was a great Australian weekend.... I spent Saturday and Sunday morning watching the women's and men's finals of the Australian Open - fantastic tennis! And as tradition demands, we celebrated Australian Day at The Orange with our good friends, Tim and Sandra. It has only taken us 5 years to figure out the colours to wear for this important shin-dig are green and gold - the national sporting colours - not red, white and blue - the official flag colours.
The colours may be confusing but the pub grub was clear!

I must admit, I stuck to white wine.  Someday I will try Vegemite!

These guys look a little buggered!
Toroo ...... catch ya round like a bad smell! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kitchen Envy

A snowy January day greeted us as we boarded a train to Haselmere to join Consuelo for lunch in her big, beautiful, country kitchen. We knocked the snow off our boots, gave the dogs a pat, and snuggled in to her AGA heated kitchen for a long afternoon of stimulating conversation .... everything from surprise weddings to gun control ....  and a delicious, seemingly effortless, meal.

I have blogged about Consuelo's Cottage before but since then she has added on this magnificent kitchen.  It all centers around the AGA, which we are standing in front of, and the view
out these huge glass doors and windows........ 
So peaceful to be watching the snow fall! 

As darkness began to fall we had to make the usual mad dash to the train station.
It's not that we don't love living in a fabulous city like London but we all promised ourselves not to forget how a day in the country can just lift our spirits and remind us of a little bit of home!  
Thanks again, my friend!  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

London Pride

The UK's leading premium cask ale....
Just a few tube stops from here, on the District line - Turnham Green-
is the Fuller's Brewery. 
We pass it every time we go to Heathrow and have always said,"We should stop there!"
Beer has been brewed on this site for over 350 years!

No tour would be complete without finishing with a mouth
watering tasting session of Fullers Beers.

My favourite by far....Honey Dew!

We learned a lot about beer .... the basic ingredients: water, malted barley (smells like Ovaltine
or dog food to some!)
brewers yeast,  hops (makes it  "bitah"!)
and a clarifying agent.....
 from the bladder of a sturgeon fish.
(Now, did we really want to know that?)  

And we laughed about the fact that Americans like our beer really, really COLD! 

You never know what you will find on an AWC adventure!  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Sunday afternoon.....

Me, in another creative mode!
I have to give a fellow London blogger all the credit for this fun post.
Check out Laura over at
(she is also on my sidebar)
She blogged about Fun Photo Apps and I have had the most entertaining 
Sunday afternoon with this one.

It is ToonPAINT
and she is right, it is addictive changing photos into 
graphic woodblock prints!

I don't have the slightest idea how it works, Mr. Rick got me all set up
but isn't it fun?

I miss my sweet Tucker.....  
and my girls, of course!  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What's in your suitcase?

I really wish I had thought of this 6 years ago when we first started packing our suitcases to return to London after the holidays.  I can't even remember what we used to pack but I know it has changed over the years.  Believe me, there have been plenty of conversations at The Antelope about "What's in your suitcase?".  I mean beyond the usual new clothes and favorite hair brush you haul back and forth, Ladies I know, bring back everything from favorite foods (I seem to remember someone bringing back a frozen rib roast) to specialized cleaning products and even, the necessary, Trader Joe's mini peanut butter cups.

I thought it might be fun to see (and record) what we packed as essential items.........
It's really NOT that exciting!

Rick has to have several boxes of his favorite "Clinical" deodorant - he must eat the stuff because he always runs out - but he smells good!  And then he really enjoys his Instant Buttered Grits on Saturday mornings before he goes to the's a southern thing!  I have to have my Crest Whitening  toothpaste and my Volumizing hair products although in this London humidity it does not really matter one bit. 
You see the chili mix, it's not that we can't make it here but the chili powder is somehow MUCH hotter than I like.  Of course we bring back our favorite medicines.  Day and Night Nurse are great and most over the counter headache meds here have codeine in them, but when you are sick you don't want a "hit or miss" drug! This might seem strange but I know lots of others who do this, Zip Lock Bags .... real heavy plastic, air tight, gallon bags.  They keep our ice cubes, (the ones that come out of Ice Cube Trays) from sticking or smelling.  
That's all, and it fit in my new Christmas gift Carry-On Tumi bag....
which I can never carry on because my Volunizing hair product and whitening toothpaste are much more than 3 oz.

But that's the way I roll!  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Standing Rib Roast

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and....
good food!
Tucker and Sammy knew it was going to be a good Christmas Eve and planned to stay in the kitchen. 
I spent too much time this holiday looking for those special recipes, including this one for the
 "Perfect Standing Rib Roast".

I have made a New Year's Resolution to produce a "Holiday Cookbook" (for my family!) with ALL of our favorite recipes in ONE place.  I will need to include things like Grandmother's cornbread dressing, Aunt Eloise's nuts and bolts, Geki's pecan tassies, Sandi's cardamon cookies, and all of our new favorites! 

The Perfect Standing Rib Roast
1. Bring the roast to room temperature - set on counter 3 hours before cooking time
2. Do the math....weight x 5 = minutes cooking time  (9lbs x 5 = 45 min.)
3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
4. Salt and pepper roast, bone side down in roasting pan
5. Place roast in the 500 degree oven, close the door, 
after ?? minutes (45 in our case)
Do not peak!  You will notice that we used a meat thermometer just in case.

In every way!